The venerable Taiwanese stalwart HTC has released its Q4 ’11 results and they’re not pretty. Quarterly revenue was down 2.5% year-on-year at approximately $101.42 billion Taiwanese dollars ($3.5 billion US) while gross profits shrank 28% from the previous quarter to $27.5 billion TWD ($933 million US).
While overall revenue for 2011 was up 67% in 2011, the company recognizes that there are troubles ahead. In a quarter that saw Apple and Samsung grow its revenues and profits considerably from the previous one, Q4 brought nothing by red for HTC. Q1 ’12 revenue is expected to be even lower at $65-70b TWD “as price erodes amid product transition… Despite short-term difficulties, momentum will resume in the upcoming product cycle driven by HTC’s brand strength, innovation, and design/engineering capabilities.” Operating margin is expected to be a three-year low of 7.5% for the upcoming quarter.
We heard that HTC was going to lower its device output in 2012, focusing instead on “hero” devices that can stand up to the blistering competition in the Android, iOS and Windows Phone space. Though it had a rough 2011 there are some bright spots: they are cash positive and understand what they need to do to bring it back to its glory days. Considering its share price has almost halved since the beginning of 2011, HTC needs a big 2012 to get it there.